The Salish Sea is at risk of becoming a fossil fuel highway. Friends fights with our community to stop fossil fuel exports that threaten our islands.
Limiting Fossil Fuel Exports
Oil extraction from tar sands and shale deposits opened vast new reserves in Canada and the United States. This led to numerous proposed expansion projects for coal, crude tar sands oil (diluted bitumen), and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG). Dramatic increase in product means dramatic increase in fossil fuel shipments, steeply escalating the potential for an oil spill or explosion on land or sea.
Unfortunately the San Juan Island region is unprepared to effectively respond to a conventional oil spill, much less diluted bitumen. Friends is dedicated to preventing fossil fuels from degrading the Salish Sea.
“The properties of the oils produced today present concerns. Canadian bitumen crude oil in various forms raises spill response challenges. It may sink or submerge in water if spilled, making recovery of the oil difficult.”
Oil By Rail
Though there are no trains in the San Juan Islands, the islands are still connected to the effects of what happens by rail. A spill on the tracks in the broader region only takes minutes or hours to spill into the marine waters of the San Juans or the rivers and streams that feed them. The aging bridge and rail infrastructure cannot withstand the proposed increase in oil train traffic. The combination of poor infrastructure and highly volatile fuel poses unprecedented risks to public safety and the environment.
Stopping fossil fuels is not enough….we must replace the petroleum-based fuels and products with alternative transportation, fibres, and soil nutrients. Also part of this transition are climate resiliency planning and policy for changing climate conditions (increased storm events, sea level rise, and drought).
“We are going to exit the fossil fuel era. It is inevitable.”
Friends is part of Stand Up to Oil and Power Past Coal, two regional coalitions working together to hold the “Thin Green Line” that blocks the fossil fuel industry from using the Salish Sea coast as a fossil fuel super-highway.